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tv   [untitled]    November 14, 2012 9:30pm-10:00pm EST

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if you. still. want to. follow in welcome to cross talk i'm peter lavelle the syrian opposition says it has reinvented itself and asked to be recognized as the legitimate representative of the syrian people at home and on the global stage what difference will this make or will this new strategy change the course of the civil war after all it would appear assad has considerable staying power. if you. start. to cross-talk the syrian civil war i'm joined by rym turkmani in london she is
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a spokesperson for the group building the syrian state in istanbul we have right good man he is the europe bureau chief for the mcclatchy newspapers and in colombia we cross to joseph almighty he is an adjunct professor at the university of south carolina already folks cross-talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want women find go to you first in london we have a new opposition group they want to be recognized internationally and representing the syrian people what are their origins and will will change anything on the ground. i don't think it will change a lot of the ground there is a feeling of optimism among the evolutionary is that at least there is now one united buddy but personally i don't think it's going to change much and i don't think it's going to last for a long time as a strong group because it's a coalition and coalitions are always new weak they fall apart in front of challenges and the reality is that we are in front of a very very complex and tough conflict there is no solution to unite around you
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know what are they exactly uniting around there are no solutions there is no political solution there is no. solution so it's not quite clear what is on their agenda ok. let me ask you a question does it bother you that it took the united states hillary clinton and u.s. allies do say we want to new opposition snap snap go to doha and get one and they did of course yeah i mean this is why we are against as in the syrian state we are against such coalitions if they are being sponsored and supported mainly by one player of the international community this is becoming an international conflict and any solution has to be supported supported by all the players of the international community that has to be international consensus so any group that is now seen as a puppet group or something that is under the control of one particular player will
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not be able to carry the solution and we will as a matter of principle we wouldn't join and start with. for the same reasons there was a conference we called for in the massacres when it became a russian project we point out we don't want to be under the russian unparallel neither under the american one ok roy if i go to you in istanbul what difference is this new coalition going to make ok as we just heard on this program it's sponsored by outsiders by western powers and the gulf powers. well i think you're right about the gulf powers as well as the western powers obviously cutter is a key player not only because they're supporting things financially but because they would like to be a key player and they have brought everybody together and they you know there they've been there for at least a week and maybe they're staying on for some more time as well. one thing i have to mention to rent rooms point is that i believe early in december they're supposed to
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be a meeting of the so-called friends of the people of syria which is you know more than one hundred countries getting together and i think they will recognize these new groups and give them food you know what least rhetorical support coming back to your question though about what difference does it make well i think that there was a problem with the syrian national council that until certainly this past friday they really didn't have a very determined or articulate leadership they didn't have very good organization they didn't seem to have a legitimate structure and it was really chaotic i think they've actually got much of their act together at least that was my so my impression from watching them and and the problem with their disorganization and the chaotic appearance they gave is that i think major countries who did want to make contributions to some part of the opposition either the humanitarian side or the military side felt that they that
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this was not a group they could really work with very well they just didn't know who who was who and they and their group couldn't organise itself now supposedly that has changed i'm a skeptic as rym but that is the claim at least that they've got and and look already they've had the recognition of the g.c.c. countries the gulf cooperation council countries the arab league didn't go quite that far today but you know they've they've made some initial steps that the syrian national council was never. able to make ok joseph i'll be the contrarian here i mean they change their name because some of the rebels are committing atrocities against the syrian people so they have to re brand themselves don't they it's a media thing it's a it's a p.r. event go ahead sir. well first of all thanks for inviting me i find myself in more agreement with my predecessors than holt i must say because come back to your comment in a minute but dr to command he is right and mr goodman is right there is not much
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change you know and the reason for that army there might be three main reasons one of them is that this is a group that is composed mainly of exiles i don't know how much influence they really have on the ground which leads me to the second point i doubt whether they have too much influence over the. basic army the rebel groups the military wing of the opposition the those who are there fighting against us or jean and sometimes they commit atrocities as you said there's no question about that and that's reprehensible of course and the certain point is that the kurdish aliment of the population are about a ten mile maybe ten percent mainly in the north east of syria that also having their own reservations about that as they used to have about this and see the syrian national council and of course the kurdish element means whatever is the turkish involvement in that so i believe that all this is still very tentative and i agree completely with the assessment of dr took money that we are in for
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a long conflict and the tragic situation is that there is no way to determine it i mean to to win it militarily or politically unless something very dramatic is going to happen now look i must tell you there's no question that atrocities are being committed by the rebel committed by the rebels but there's no question of course that most of that those these are being created by the regime whether the military or the should be how militia and i don't see that at this stage of the of the uprising or the civil war or other one can really quantify exactly who kills more than whom the tragic situation is that many innocent people on both sides are being killed i'll tell you look if there is a car bomb in damascus that's a terror attack to vittie it doesn't matter whether it's being done by the rebels or by the regime so there's no question about that look i'm not. mystic about the situation but i must say that if it's something else previously in this program and also in my writings i advocated a role for russia in the solution of the conflict and maybe now after the american elections it might be an opportune time for the obama administration to try and
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reach out to the russians in order to incorporate russia in a solution that will allow a transition without bashar assad while not removing completely a third in the first place also the russian presence so that the russians will not feel that they're out of state and it is becoming it or not there was a western victory i am not sure that now is not the right time for doing it i didn't believe it could be done before the american elections i happen to believe it may be more possible after the american elections ok you remember i go back to you i mean that the question is and you never can figure this out from western media coverage ok is just how popular is assad he does have support he has a base and the longer this goes on the stronger his base gets ok because there's this feeling that i get is that you know the rebels are there to protect the people but now people are dying because of the rebels. yes but that doesn't mean that
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they're going to turn to assad i think the assad's probably lara he is decreasing by the day even among his strongest supporters. because he simply is not guarding their interests he's not delivering every time you know we hear claims from him he's going to put the country under control everything would be fine syria is fine and he's not delivering so if i were a loyalist i would say well you know you've been the liver when this sort of turned to the revolution but i would be very disappointed in supporting such president reality is that increasing number of people turning against assad they're not necessarily finding somebody to turn to and the international community is not helping as well by interfering with the opposition by appearing as indifferent about the syrian suffering they are there hiding their differences behind the different. divisions among the opposition i don't buy the claim that the international community needed one united but the in order to deliver for example
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mr goodman say they want one united by the baking deliver humanitarian aid for all but i mean what why do they need it i mean we have all these refugees in lebanon in turkey in jordan and what stops the international community now from going there and to help all this sort of fiji's they don't need any political body they don't need any international resolution and they're not doing it they are not doing it in the international community is going to be trotted out and people jump in yeah i mean and i completely agree with you i was really just trying to restart what the international say i think it's kind of phony i think they've been making excuses for a long time the thing that's just happened though in doha and as you know i was there covering it is that the internationals have now run out of excuses they cannot blame it on the s.n.c. any longer and i want to come back to the broader point. that peter was making
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about the opposition losing support i think of that's kind of like a catch phrase and that you know the people who are flocking to assad i have a no no on timelines i didn't say flocking to that's going too far ok go ahead well care even gating because listen here's a president of a country you know who really didn't have legitimacy in the first place i mean he doesn't have a you know a broad base an election a constitution it was a it was been a one man show or a one family show for forty years and the fact is their time is up and so when people started on the streets with peaceful demonstrations he brought in the or me he brought in there should be and now he's bombing the country to smithereens i mean this this is a person who's not just lost legitimacy but he's committing crimes on a very high order daily and i don't think that you know and if this point so many syrians have lost somebody or they've lost their possessions or they've lost their homes that it's very hard to go back and i think coming back to joseph sport the
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question is what can the international community do and can russia sort of find some way to join in to to bring this to a quick and a smooth and a peacekeeper oh i'm going to jump in here we're going to go to was short break folks and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on syria stay with us.
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welcome back to cross town to the well to mind you we're talking about the ongoing syrian civil war. ok just if i go back to you in colombia i mean one of the things i read about the the new cook the new coalition that represents the opposition supposedly united is
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that now they're asking they have the legitimacy to ask for more weapons is that going to solve serious problems intensify the war make the war worse and no one's been able to convince me just because if assad did go what would change go ahead sir. well first of all we need to define what does it mean to change and mean there's not going to be a peaceful democratic syria any time immediately after the removal of bashar assad because even if he's out of damascus i still believe that he or people around dean will try to fortify themselves in the alawite mountains in northwest syria and that might be amounting to some kind of autonomy at least for a transition period and syria might still be in a danger of breaking up the druze in the south the carrots and so on the look of all these can happen it will not be good for stability in syria but also not for regional stability i agree with you completely but look let's be honest about this question of arming the rebels everybody says now that it's terrible what's happening in syria but six or eight or ten months ago everybody said if you will
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not out of the rebels that is the best chance to prevent a full scale who knows what kind of atrocious civil war the civil war that any rate is what it is today and thousands of people are being killed now and don't even count the dead anymore so if you really want to stop the world as soon as possible you need to create some kind of a situation whereby the regime will not feel anymore that they have the military are parent therefore you need to arm the rebels on the other end if you are the rebels you are in elements that are very very dangerous some of them are a stomach militants in order is to fit and we know what can happen with it so look therefore i believe it brings me to what i said before i ate to repeat myself but also related to what roy goodman said if the americans let's face it out the leader still of nato and the western world if they don't want to be to interfere in this conflict by way of say military intervention of one kind or another or they don't want to sponsor turkish intervention or don't want to encourage nato intervention
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they asked to come to some kind of accommodation with the russians who are the ones who really support the assad regime and it can be done i believe it should be done and in that case we can come. to some kind of an end that could be not the total victory is what it was. but i said that really asian by going to remain the problem is here is from and i'm not speaking for the russian government but the russian government's position is is that you know they're not going to support regime change libya is on their mind ok and also the russians and the chinese and other members of the international community international community isn't just the americans and their friends but everybody else is worried about syria becoming a failed state unfortunately they're not thinking about the syrian people they're thinking about a failed state in a very sensitive region this is what it's gotten down to but you know i mean i mean . this is cross talk about reverse go ahead i don't buy i don't buy this argument
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from russia i agree they should you know we don't want to be the libyan scenario but the libyan scenario has been through military intervention so what stops russia from pushing for a political solution if they don't want to see a failed state then they should on one side on one table have serious talks with the west and the u.s. to find one point of a solution to find and for this regime we don't have to focus on the games it's not about assad himself even if he goes the regime you know is there the syrian regime is the most out of the security forces. so i would argue what russia is doing right now by supporting the regime is what is leading to real estate because it's also pushing the other sides to continue the arming the same we have the party we have examples of afghanistan we have iraq we have libya always the law of unintended consequences right what do you think about that i mean your buddies outside intervention simply don't lead to good results go ahead. the biggest mystery when
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you sit around as i did for several days for more than a week there and anywhere else you go to talk about syria the biggest mystery is what are the motivations that are leading russia to base basically block a solution which i mean i think it's a very severe i don't think it's very difficult to figure out russia doesn't want to be in the position of leading from behind watching the americans change the geopolitical map of the world full stop it's pretty well in america is are they are either very good to let is only very simple go ahead to the maritimes they let americans are not leaving the americans the americans are standing back and sort of hoping that somebody else will take the lead because look through there are some very good summary here in a muslim country again i goodness and so the mystery is this that little everybody's knowing you want to tell you may please go ahead joseph go ahead jump in. it is the simple point i mean i saying that you look at the american role in colors that to represent the past not the present of the future this is the obama
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administration and i suggest you now when we have freed my lonely child here i see i see these other nation a little as i see it in ok it's very rare in other violence where you'll see all of the other go ahead just look let me let me finish please libya was america from b i and when it happened vice president biden said and he was right about that it sounded like bragging but he said look we invested in it less than a billion dollars not even one person was killed and gaddafi is out so they know and this is the point here that it is not going to be like that with regard to syria that is why do they know in terms of how do you know how do you know they know that how do you know they know that i i'll tell you i'll tell you know that i'll tell you i'll do i know that i have three elements here that i can inject into the discussion you may recall this interesting incident before the elections when president at that time met you there's met president obama and he whispered to him live it all after the elections i'll be more flexible he will be more flexible many
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and there was an anti-missile defense wasn't about syria it was and i'm not i'm trying i don't know but i already know that's part of an approach look look i'm trying to build the point they are trying to build a case of i might be wrong but let me finish please the second point is the root look back it was thomas friedman who is a mouthpiece of the obama administration wrote about israel and the palestinian situation you wrote don't expect us to intervene in error not going to do that obama has other priorities that is to say obama doesn't want president obama i should say doesn't want to interfere with really knows that the stakes are very i and the chances of success are very slim but that leads me to the set great he will have to come to some kind of threat is asian that russia has a role to play and you need to play a discard of the russians and the russians will ever also to make concert. are we ever to be in a jam without bashar assad the econ state that he will not stay there and what do did russians want they want him to be removed and then they would lose completely
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so in the us i don't get it and i don't see how you really do i think all my love for you here overestimate russia's influence in the region it doesn't have very much at all ok and international law is what i think a really great deal he's already and if he going to play your dream role roy go ahead. listen the russians do have influence they have historic influence they have a historic role russia is a major power russia should have influence but right now it seems to me russia is gambling its influence and it's risking it by virtue of saying the major powers are not doing it is the same thing this major powers are trying to say more has russia i just agree with less not less nation crazy russia or they disagree with me all you want but i'm telling you russia's position right now is one where i think they are they are putting at risk their long term interest their middle term interests and their short term interest because they are now backing a regime that's actually bombing its own people this is not an excuse to i don't think russia's behaving as i do i really feel as
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a doing it it doesn't want that on its hands rim go ahead free to of their time doing it with good men i do agree russia is gambling and supporting the regime be because of their team is supporting its own interest i would say well listen this is a regime is incapable of supporting its own interest how is it going to guard the russian the russians and it just can't do it come deliver. i disagree of the russian position is motivated by the will not to have a military intervention because the veto all the old the council resolution security council resolution that veto they did not include but an intervention there were about political solutions and actually they all all parties agree to the content of the solution but it was going to is the opposition is going to have to negotiate with assad rim do they want to have negotiations no this is what russians are not easily shy easily first absolutely not true because arms from saudi arabia from the qataris they don't have to they don't have to talk either way to. the
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finish your point there on the table the negotiations were of their own with table before the army started and the russians never supported the with all their heart they never said they were the only party they supported in negotiations my goodness because they know that i know. let me what are you. on the international stage that supports negotiations ok everyone else is either already in our news or is not every indication already of war just there is going to be no absolutely not absolutely not or even i don't know if they will go for you to say. you will know that he was that politics and diplomacy is the out of the policy bill so what did not happen in the past let's leave the story out since the last comment that there was but when you talk about policy making and the need to do something now and then the need to feel cheated i think that that action should prevent a cool that i was three people that didn't coordinate their position with each other they all say we all say that that also should play a role and the question is how do you denied
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a role that is we think on the table and left it in right let me read you resolution yes but no it has to come out of washington and boston might agree on that i was not the high achiever or pleased that it's not the way you think there must now it's a new ball game as they say in america it's a new ball game da abominable is that he had elected he got didn't he want mandate days is a new ball game and give it give time give it time give it the chance roy jump in go ahead it's just this so much has happened now in the last year so many people are dead you know the official death toll is thirty thirty five thousand it's probably triple that the number of people who are now exposed to the elements or who who could be thrown out onto the street any day it's it could be millions of people this is a you know that the government has helped destroy the country it should never have come to this you know russia which is the good friend of the assad regime should have told you do not do that you must come to some terms with these people and now so much has happened so you know we have to deal with the reality as it is and the
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reality as it as it is is that the country is a mess and assad can never put it together and he cannot be part of the solution you know it's just that that's just how ok it would be very interesting the international community and western powers should determine who should rule and who shouldn't this is how we got into the mess in the. well run out of time i know you want to say that many thanks to my guest today in london istanbul and in colombia and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time and remember.
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